The application of cognitive science to literary scholarship in the form of a cognitive poetics offers the opportunity for accounting for many features of literary reading that have been rendered only in vague or impressionistic terms in the past. In this paper, an argument for cognitive poetics is made, with a focus on the affective and experiential phenomenon of resonance. This is modelled through cognitivist work on the field of attention and perception, to give a particularly literary-angled approach. The argument is exemplified with reference to a Shakespeare sonnet and then further demonstrated in a poem by Dylan Thomas, where the notion of a lacuna is developed to account for the phenomenon of “felt absence”. The paper concludes with observations on the role of cognitive poetics in relation to cognitive science, literary criticism, and in its own right.